INTO THE WOODS presented by The Carnegie through Aug. 27. I attended the second Friday performance. Please note that INTO THE WOODS is being done in rotation with RENT and GEORGE REMUS, a New Musical. Two performances of INTO THE WOODS remain in both July and August.
INTO THE WOODS, the first of three productions in The Carnegie’s Summer Theatre Series, ambitiously tackles this 20-role show with only ten performers. And succeeds.
The show is vocally strong with a solid, versatile ensemble. Stand-outs for me are Emma Rose Johnson as Cinderella and Madison Mosley as Little Red/Rapunzel. Jackson Regain and Jamal Stone are very fun doubling as both The Princes and Cinderella’s evil step-sisters.
For the most part, the doubling of roles worked well with the addition of thoughtful costume pieces or quick changes. It did feel at times that it is assumed audience members know the show, so it might help to be a bit more deliberate in the character introductions and the initial cross where Cinderella’s evil stepmother becomes Jack’s mother. The use of the baskets at the end of Act I is clever, but for someone who had not seen the show, they didn’t understand what it represented. Perhaps more green would help.
Tyler Gabbard’s multi-layer set worked well for INTO THE WOODS and I look forward to seeing how it is transformed for each production.
Overall, a smart and tight production that breaks the classic mold.
My rating: 4.25 out of 5.
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